The therapeutic relationship is about the collaboration and trust of two different individuals: the client and the therapist. Clients trust us with their thoughts, feelings and opinions, and in turn the therapist’s guidance might lead them towards new perspectives that increase joy and decrease distress. One of the highlights of being a therapist is being able to witness that moment of SPARK, when a client has an insight that can fundamentally shift things for the better. Internal shifts in perspective can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Often, our emotional distress arises when we are at odds with the way someone else is thinking or behaving; We feel we are absolutely right, and others are definitely wrong. Typically, we entrench ourselves so deeply in this divide that we struggle seeing a resolution. Through therapeutic interventions like couple and family therapy, or those in CBT and DBT, we can learn to cope with our emotional distress, gain insight into our own position, and ideally build an understanding of “the other,” creating the SPARK of peace and resolution.
There are times when we have gone through losses and experiences that weigh heavily in our heart. They might have been years ago, or just last week. A therapist is a skilled companion that can walk the journey with us and unpack our feelings of fear, sadness, anger, or hurt , allowing the SPARK of hope and healing to emerge.
Whether you are religious or not, we all have a lot to take away from the now famous mantra of twelve step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” It speaks to the necessity of letting go of the false notion that we can control everything. The SPARK of serenity arises when one can learn to stop, let go, and gain wise clarity of what we can indeed control – often, only ourselves.
Demotivation is hard to crack. Even when we know what we want in our lives, we can get stuck and simply cannot break free of what holds us back. It is an internal struggle between what we wish we could do and what we are actually doing. Unpacking this can uncover deep seated beliefs that support our inertia. Whether they are fears, self-deprecating thoughts, complicated relationship dynamics, or even depression & anxiety, the therapeutic relationship can empty the burdens and SPARK motivation.
Therapeutic work can SPARK success and free us to move forward in our lives: Families yell less, are more productive, and love more. In difficult blended or divorce family situations, we can increase the collaboration and decrease the toxic environment that has such adverse mental health effects on children. Individuals can do better with relationships at home or at work, and have the courage to take bold steps towards their dreams.